Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley: Trump’s terrible week shows why he is “unfit for command”
BRIAN STELTER (HOST): To our historian for some context here. Douglas Brinkley, I find myself reaching for words, trying to figure out how to put a week like this in context. The banners on screen say things like White House in crisis. Anchors say things like chaos. Trying to express just how extraordinary this situation is. Help us out, how do you convey what’s going on with the Trump White House?
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY: It’s in utter disarray and you can’t really compartmentalize everything because it’s all morphed together as Donald Trump unfit for command, in my opinion. I mean you could go look at Godfather movies and —
STELTER: You said he’s unfit for — let me be clear, you said he’s unfit for command.
BRINKLEY: I think so. I think when you have a White House communications director that uses the kind of foul language that he does against fellow employees of the federal government, and makes threats the way that he did, and that’s supposed to be your solution to the United States’ way they are going to communicate to the world? It means Donald Trump picked the wrong person to be his communications director, he has a White House that’s leaking like crazy. As just mentioned, there are people ready to whistleblow. He thinks that you can government by chaos and it’s not working. It is true he has that 36 percent of the American public backing him, but that means over 60 percent of Americans think that he is doing a miserable job and the rest of the world is laughing. We have a crisis in North Korea and we’re playing these reality TV big time wrestling games because Donald Trump was weaned and raised on television. And it’s become like a TV episodic president where every day you’ve got to say something sensational to make sure that your name is on the headlines. We had a problem with Nixon. If there is any president this is like, it’s Nixon. You listen to the Nixon Watergate tapes, the secret tapes, and you hear Nixon ramble and it sounds like Donald Trump’s tweets. And it didn’t turn out well for Nixon.